In the annals of Hollywood film since the artistic glories of the New Hollywood era, few have a better reputation and body of work in the field of suspense films exploring the contemporary darkness in American life than Brian De Palma. Here, the great film writer and director takes, us in his own words, through his professional life and a career that redefined film horror and suspense. All the while, he also confesses the challenges of working in Hollywood and the price even the great artists pay for being a part of it.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brian De Palma said, that initially there was no plan for a documentary feature, only an interview: "Noah and Jake were interested in this new digital camera, so Jake bought one. They wanted to make a record of all these stories that I'd told them over the years when we'd had dinner together, so they sat me down in Jake's living room. Jake operated the camera, Noah did the sound, and they would just ask me questions."  See more »
Home Movies is listed with 1980 as year of release instead of the real year 1979. See more »
Brian De Palma is one of those directors whose films are very polarizing (with a few exceptions, of course). Being that he no longer works within the Hollywood establishment and his output has been drastically reduced, I guess a documentary will have to do. And boy, what a documentary! Still, the word 'documentary' doesn't really describe this film that well, since it's more like a one-on-one conversation. De Palma is very candid about his past and doesn't shy away from emphatically stating his opinions on people he's worked with and his own work. One thing that did surprise me was how little Hitchcock, his clearest influence, was brought up. Not a criticism, just an observation. Clips from VERTIGO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and REAR WINDOW are shown, though, in the context of techniques or stylistic features that De Palma learned from them. If anything, the range of artistic influences was much wider than I had ever realized before. Even if he never made another film, De Palma has left behind an incredible body of work that deserves serious study and consideration, and this documentary fills a void for everyone. It provides a nice retrospective for those already familiar and, for those not, a great place to start.
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